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Kings of Jazz: Compiled by Gilles Peterson and Jazzanova

Kings of Jazz

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE kings of… series continues with jazz as its musical genre of choice. The compilations seek to bring listeners forgotten or neglected gems from the world of music, as chosen by luminaries of the medium.

Previous compilations have focused on disco, funk, hip-hop and house, while the latest double CD pairs essential jazz figures Gilles Peterson and Jazzanova for a shimmering stroll through some of their musical inspirations.

It goes without saying that the album is sure to appeal most to jazz enthusiasts who will undoubtedly get a kick from having the dust blown off some seminal jazz numbers.

But it may contain something to pleasantly surprise other listeners, given the attraction of its two ‘DJs’ – Peterson, the influential broadcaster and DJ, and Jazzanova, the acclaimed producer and remixer.

Certainly, there are some lively, notable offerings scattered throughout the compilation, from the smooth George’s Dilemma, which recalls the hip style of a classic 70s heist movie, or the cinematic sweep of old romantic Hollywood in the horn-infested Autumn in New York Part One.

There’s a swinging style about The Jazz Crusaders’ Young Rabbits that is neatly offset by the quiet tranquility of Bill Evans’ Peace Piece, with its lovely pianos and daydream sensibilities, that help to provide two of CD1’s undoubted highlights.

Of the Jazzanova selections, Two Banks of Four drop some supremely sultry vocals over the breezy, ‘70s-based jazz of One Day, while there’s a funky, Lalo Schiffrin buzz surrounding the self-consciously hip Loud Minority by the United Furure Organization.

Put together, all of the tracks make for a fascinating journey that effectively showcase the diversity contained within the medium. For anyone who has ever been curious about jazz, it’s almost certain to deliver its fair share of surprises, while for the die-hard enthusiasts out there, it’s pretty much an essential collection assembled by two celebrated masters.

Track listing:
Disc 1 (Gilles Peterson)

  1. Roy Haynes “Quiet Fire”
  2. Randy Weston “In Memory Of”
  3. Rashaan Roland Kirk “Spirits Up Above”
  4. Charles Mingus “Moves”
  5. Art Blakey “Anthenagin”
  6. The Jazz Crusaders “Young-rabbits’
  7. Mark Murphy “My Favorite Things”
  8. John Coltrane “Equinox”
  9. Eric Dolphy “Fire Waltz”
  10. Bill Evans “Peace Piece”

Disc 2 (Jazzanova)

  1. Nikki O “Butterflies”
  2. 4 Hero “Spirits In Transit”
  3. Bembe Segue “Mother Of The Future”
  4. Matthew Herbert Big Band “Everything’s Changed”
  5. Pavel Kostiuk Feat. Vanessa Freeman “Brand New Day” (Chateau Flight Remix)
  6. Two Banks Of Four “Two Miles Before Dawm”
  7. Rima Feat. Ian O’Brien “Modern Times”
  8. Innerzone Orchestra “At Les”
  9. Carlo Fashion “Muster Fur Kammerorchester”
  10. Hedvig Hanson “Afro White”